cow udder
Can you find the dermatology lab in this picture?
Photo: Alison

Humanity seems plagued by mundane problems like neuritis, neuralgia, pyrosis, and the dreaded pruritis.

Over the years advertisers have attempted to capitalize on those problems by trying to connect the dots to products that people will find appealing. For example pruritis, otherwise known as itching, is a big problem. I know of a product that always claimed to be good for itching anywhere, but in the eyes. (I’ve always wondered, “Yes, but what’s good for itching IN the eyes?”)

With advertising it’s always the unanswered questions that come back to haunt us. Sometimes though, a little careful searching can yield valuable answers.

It wasn’t advertising but a trip to the local hardware store that solved my unanswered questions about the human scourge eczema, known in layman’s terms as chapping. At the time we had a milk cow named Cynthia. Just as frequent washing causes chapped hands in humans, it can also cause chapping of other exposed flesh (anywhere but in the eyes). Cynthia had a chapping problem that cried out for answers. There among the cow halters and milk buckets of Stite’s Hardware Store laid the possible cure: Dr. Naylor Udder Balm.

I asked Delbert, the proprietor, “is this stuff any good?”

“Never used it,” he said, “but a lot of people buy it”.

Dr. Naylor udder balm

So I laid out the cash for a tin of Dr. Naylor Udder Balm.

Our milk cow Cynthia gained instant relief, and in the process of applying the salve to her lactating regions I discovered a valuable fringe benefit of hand milking. Not only did Dr Naylor cure Cynthia, but he had cured my own chapping problem as well. My hands became instantly baby-soft. Let’s just say that the milking went much smoother.

Cynthia reaped a double benefit.

In the world of chapping Dr. Naylor’s isn’t for the faint of heart. Its unique clove-oil scent and jelly-like texture may not appeal to Bath “˜n’ Body customers. But at five dollars and twenty cents for a nine ounce tin, it’s cowboy chic on a beans and bacon budget.

As far as my favorite brands go, I call it the cream of the crop.

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